Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Bombings and Blue Manatees

I lived in the Boston Cambridge area for 3 years back in the 1980s, and I know exactly where they hold the Boston Marathon, which is a huge tradition, as is "Patriot Day" on April 15th.  Yesterday, while the marathon was running, some evil piece of crap, or a group of slimebags, decided to place bombs in the crowds aligning the route and at the finish line. Two bombs went off, killing 3 people, including an 8 year old boy, and injured nearly 100 people. Another two bombs were disarmed and a fire broke out at the JFK Library at the same time (but no one was hurt there). There are horrific photos of this event, including photos of people who have lost limbs to this act of cowardice. Fortunately, as usual, there were heroes among the police and runners who helped many of the fallen get to somewhere safe for treatment. I sincerely hope that when they catch these terrorist asshats that they string them up and make them pay for this nightmare.
There have been many excellent reactions and posts from great authors all over the internet, but I felt that this one was particularly brilliant, as it sums it up quite nicely.

"Every thought and every prayer goes out to the victims and their
families and loved ones. What a senseless act of waste and violence....
It's hard to imagine any people more inspiring than all those people who
dashed across Boylston Street within seconds of the first explosion, and
rushed to the aid of the injured. Didn't give their own safety a
thought. Made me proud to be a member of the human race, which I think
was the exact opposite of the effect the bomber was hoping for....

"When I watch the footage of the first explosion, I look at the Boston
Public Library Main Branch across the street, and I think no matter who
they turn out to be--Islamic jihadists, home grown militia, neo-Nazis,
something else--what really scares them, what they truly hate, is the
access to knowledge that building exemplifies.... So proud to be a
Bostonian tonight. So brokenhearted to be one, too."

Facebook page last night

My husband once called me a manatee while we were dating (and I was thin then, too) and  though I've since learned to look at it as a compliment, I found this tidbit about a bookstore named for these gentle giants of the sea to be just wonderful.
Blue Manatee Bookstore: The Doctor Is In

Dr. John Hutton "wanted kids to read books and play outside. He wanted
their parents to unplug the kids' televisions and computers.... So he
focused on more books and less screen time. That would be his issue,"
the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in its profile of Blue Manatee's
http://www.shelf-awareness.com/ct/uz3642037Biz16666718 owner, who has gone from doctor to bookseller to doctor/bookseller
since he and his wife purchased the bookshop several years ago.

The name, which was chosen through a public vote, is "symbolic of what
independent bookstores go through. They are nurturing and intelligent
and sweet, but endangered," he said.

Being a bookseller has also "affirmed for Hutton what he already knew:
Reading with a child is rewarding for the parent and remarkably
beneficial for the child," the Enquirer wrote.

"This is old-fashioned stuff, but it is not just nostalgic," he said.
"For a small child, any interaction with a person reading a book is so
good for a child's cognitive, language, fine motor skills and emotional
well-being." Hutton now works a day or two a week as a doctor and the
rest of the week at the bookstore.

This is the link to a blog post that I found to be perfectly marvelous in explaining why it is not a crime to be fat, and why there are healthy fat people (like me, I do not have Crohns because I am overweight, in fact, the medications made me gain weight after my diagnosis) who don't eat junk food every day and who exercise regularly. 

And in other  book news, Bill Bryson, former Des Moines (Iowa) Register Reporter is having one of his books made into a movie:
Richard Linklater "could be headed for A Walk in the Woods
The Los Angeles Times reported that Linklater is expected to helm Bill
Bryson's bestseller and "could shoot the independently financed movie as
early as this fall, according to Robert Redford, who will produce and
star in the film." Nick Nolte will play Katz.

"A Walk in the Woods is the kind of movie that has something to say but
can also be really commercial because it's just so funny," Redford said.
"It will be nice to get back to doing a comedy."

 And there's been a lot of buzz about the latest remake of the Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio:

"There is probably no bigger (or riskier) question mark this spring than
Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby
which has battled a delay and rumors of a troubled production only to
nab the opening slot at the Cannes Film Festival," Indiewire reported in
featuring a new trailer from the 3D film version of F. Scott
Fitzgerald's classic novel that will be released May 10.

Yet another reason to go to a real bookstore to buy books:
"The physical browsing process is enormously pleasant. It's an important
part of our national culture, those bookshops.... But the arithmetic
does get more and more difficult, and online retailing gets more and
more seductive. And all of us get more and more used to it, from grocery
supply to buying books off Amazon. Yet I go to the Westfield shopping
centre down the road, and it's turned out to be an absolute goldmine,
heaving with people all year round. Anyone who tells you they know the
future is telling you the most grotesque lie, because none of us do."

--Tim Waterstone
founder and former owner of of the British bookstore chain that still
bears his name, in an interview with the Guardian. Waterstone is about
to return to bookselling as "non-executive chairman" of Read Petite
http://www.shelf-awareness.com/ct/uz3642037Biz16623195 an online outlet for short-form e-books that will be launched to the trade at the London Book Fair and to the public
next fall.

I read and really enjoyed this book, Beautiful Ruins, which is by a Seattle author:
Cross Creek Pictures' Todd Field (Little Children) "is teaming up with
Smuggler Films to produce, co-write and direct Beautiful Ruins
based on the novel by Jess Walter, Indiewire reported, calling it "an
ambitious project to tackle."

April is National Poetry Month:
Can you hear it now? That, my friends, is the exquisite sound of poems
making their way in the world. Poetry is everywhere. "We can leave it
out on the counter for our beloved, like a bowl of yellow pears," Dobby
Gibson observes in his answer to that question posed by Common Good
Books. "Or we can fold it up into a tiny square and bury it in our sock
drawer, like our most dangerous secret. Either way, it will lie there
patiently and wait to be discovered." --Robert Gray

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